Skip navigation

Pilot-scale biofiltration at a materials recovery facility: The impact on bioaerosol control

Pilot-scale biofiltration at a materials recovery facility: The impact on bioaerosol control

Ibanga, I. E., Fletcher, L. A., Noakes, C. J., King, M. F. and Steinberg, D. (2018) Pilot-scale biofiltration at a materials recovery facility: The impact on bioaerosol control. Waste Management, 80. pp. 154-167. ISSN 0956-053X (Print), 1879-2456 (Online) (doi:

PDF (Publisher's PDF)
24239 IBANGA_Pilot-Scale_Biofiltration_at_a_Materials_Recovery_Facility_2018.pdf - Published Version

Download (2MB) | Preview


This study investigated the performance of four pilot-scale biofilters for the removal of bioaerosols from waste airstreams in a materials recovery facility (MRF) based in Leeds, UK. A six-stage Andersen sampler was used to measure the concentrations of four groups of bioaerosols (Aspergillus fumigatus, total fungi, total mesophilic bacteria and Gram negative bacteria) in the airstream before and after passing through the biofilters over a period of 11 months. The biofilters achieved average removal efficiency (RE) of 70% (35 to 97%) for A. fumigatus, 71% (35 to 94%) for total fungi, 68% (47 to 86%) for total mesophilic bacteria and 50% (-4 to 85%) for Gram negative bacteria, provided that the inlet concentration was high (103–105 - cfu m�3), which is the case for most waste treatment facilities. The performance was highly variable at low inlet concentration with some cases showing an increase in outlet concentrations, suggesting that biofilters had the potential to be net emitters of bioaerosols. The gas phase residence time did not appear to have any statistically significant impact on bioaerosol removal efficiency. Particle size distribution varied between the inlet and outlet air, with the outlet having a greater proportion of smaller sized particles that represent a greater human health risk as they can penetrate deep into the respiratory system where gaseous exchange occurs. However, the outlet concentrations were low and would further be diluted by wind in full scale applications. In conclusion, this study shows that biofilters designed and operated for odour degradation can also achieve significant bioaerosol control in waste gas.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Biofilter; Bioaerosols; Odour; Waste management; Woodchips
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences > School of Design (DSC)
Last Modified: 12 Dec 2020 22:51
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: GREAT 1
Selected for REF2021: None

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics